Don’t Worry, I Won’t Be Long…
Today is our wedding anniversary. Were it not for yesterday marking three months since our separation, we would have been married two years as of today. What is three months? Long enough, apparently, for an individual world to toss about like a boat in a tempest and still not find equilibrium. Three months is a quarter of a year, one eighth of my marriage. We were together for seven years, friends for three longer than that. Three months may seem like nothing until you factor in the finality… The fact that each day adds to a week, each week adds to a month, and each month leads to a year. In three more months, it will be six, half a year… The thing that was my whole world is just gone, it’s an ineffable feeling to conceptualize. I am astonished by how seemingly slowly time passes, until it’s of the past and then I wonder where it’s gone.
Because of this anniversary, everything is shades of blue today. Not happy, periwinkle blue or deep, lusty cobalt… the blue of haze and sadness. It’s not even a good, thematic blue that complements the musical genre. Or an adorable dog from a children’s show. This blue is dull and characterless. Unfortunately, though, its lack of character is still all encompassing and eye catching in its grungy hue. It has stained my world and made it dingy – incapable of any sparkle (not the pansy vampire kind). Worst of all, this blue has a liquid quality, leaking through the cracks around each door I try to close in an attempt to hold it off.
[“Exeunt” – The Oh Hellos / “Stay With Me Baby” – Lorraine Ellison]
These two songs have been battling it out in my muddled mind for the theme song du jour. I am of two minds, “Oh no, I can’t believe you’re leaving me,” via Lorraine and “I have set my mind and my will, I am leaving” from the Oh Hellos. I made the decision to seek a divorce but he left me mentally and emotionally before that. I feel abandoned and sad but also mildly empowered by the choice I made—believing I deserve more than someone who, among other things, made it apparent that I wasn’t worth sticking around for.
To begin, I have always loved the word “exeunt” from my earliest days reading excessive amounts of Shakespeare:
used as a stage direction in a printed play to indicate that a group of characters leave the stage.
Well, I have most assuredly left the stage with no intention of playing the leading lady in that particular story again. Liz Taylor has made her exeunt, stage left.
But then, there’s this video, where I first discovered this Lorraine Ellison song. I feel like this video sums up about 50% of my every day at the moment (down from 98% when all this first went down). I am lip syncing my pain, not being wholly vocal but deeply feeling it nonetheless (also, I now feel a desperate need to watch Pirate Radio, a personal favorite of mine). I am hurting but then still going through the motions of real life, doing what I have to so that I may continue to keep my head above water.
I am simply struggling with the road less taken—which I have found myself having been forced onto. As I pick my way through brambles and poison ivy, I don’t have any real solution for the struggle but to anticipate the numbing blessing that time and distance can provide.
But There’s Always Hope
I woke up to an excellent gift (pictured left) from my mom this morning and the promise of a good day. I had initially wanted to spend the day entirely by myself but she convinced me to go with her and explore Lancaster.
My piece of advice for you all is to take the help that is offered to you in hard times, even if it’s not what you initially envision. Someone is reaching out to provide love, care, and the little solace they can provide… Embrace it.
I had wanted to be alone today, but it turns out that our adventures today were just the emotional ticket. We giggled at the sheer number of black cat accouterments that the world seems to deem necessary at Halloween (not that I am complaining), we traded inside jokes back and forth and quoted movies over the walls of consignment store booths, we met lovely Amish women, saw numerous cows, and listened to my peppy “You Can Do It” Spotify mix while we drove the rolling hills and kept our eyes open for fun places to stop—and the giant praying mantis art installation that inexplicably sits outside of a house on Route 23 (we saw it, it’s weird, I love it, and I want one).
I had a, much needed, blast with my lovely mother on a day when I had thought I would just seclude myself in my room with a book and try to prevent my eyes from spontaneously-combusting with liquefied emotion (yuck). Yeah, I am still down and I still hurt, enormously. I can feel the damaged parts of my heart, broken and bruised, throbbing a bit more because of what today means (or, I guess, what it meant). Each breath feels a bit shallower because of the pain and tightness that grief has left in my chest. But, I laughed when I didn’t think I would; and, more importantly, I was reminded of how aggressively I am still loved.
Who knew I would learn such a memorable life lesson while staring at the business end of a horse and buggy in Lancaster County? Keep Pennsylvania beautiful my friends, because somewhere there is another lost woman finding solace, during the Golden Hour, while driving around with a loved one—cradling her bouquet of wildflowers that, this time, wont be going down an aisle; but maybe because of that, mean just a little bit more.
(After Having Time To Ruminate, Caffeinate, and Sublimate)
I’ll leave you with this, which I discovered at a time of internal teen angst, having lost my first love to the trials and tribulations of moving. God bless the verbal capability of Cecilia Ahern, who can conceptualize such feelings in a way that I can only strive for:
I hope this helps my fellow (temporarily) lost and broken hearts find some solace and an ear for their internal voice.
Photo: E. Campbell (2017)